June 2020

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HTL lends helping hand in Wide Bay Burnett

A resources company investing in Wide Bay’s burgeoning minerals sector has lent a helping hand in the fight against COVID-19 by donating more than 1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to the local community.

A resources company investing in Wide Bay’s burgeoning minerals sector has lent a helping hand in the battle against COVID-19 by donating more than 1,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to the local community.

Australian company High Titanium Resources and Technology Limited (HTL) has been approved to develop the Wateranga deposit about 80km south-west of Bundaberg.

Already looking to its role as a local corporate citizen, HTL responded to the COVID-19 crisis by sourcing 1,080 bottles of hand sanitiser and donating them to Mundubbera-based North Burnett Community Services last month.

The agency then distributed the sanitiser to local shops and to citrus exporters and others in need across 6 towns in the North Burnett region.

HTL Chairman David Li said the company was very pleased to contribute to the local community during a challenging time.

‘HTL is committed to a long-term role in the Wide Bay region,’ he said.

‘We believe very strongly in the concept of contributing to the community, whether that’s through growing the local economy or lending a helping hand in other ways.

‘We saw a practical way we could help to fight the pandemic, and we were very pleased to work with government authorities and community organisations to get the sanitiser out to groups that could really use it.’

Principal Trade and Investment Officer Brett Tucker from TIQ Wide Bay Burnett said the TIQ team and colleague Richard Crook from the Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation (DSDTI) had worked together to help ensure the sanitiser went where it would have most impact.

‘HTL, the community sector, TIQ and DSDTI all played their part to take a practical step for community benefit,’ he said.

‘I firmly believe this is an important part of our work as Queensland Government representatives in a regional community – helping to build bridges and develop long-term relationships.’

Mr Tucker said simple actions like these could have big benefits.

‘Much of the sanitiser has gone to small businesses and to local citrus farms that employ hundreds of pickers during the harvest,’ he said.

‘Helping them keep their workforce safe has major spinoff benefits in terms of the local community’s health.

‘Central Burnett citrus farms are large export clients and employers for Queensland, so we are pleased to see every support to those that are on the frontline managing COVID-19 risks.’

TIQ has been working with HTL to help attract international investment partners to its Wateranga project. The Wateranga deposit contains ilmenite, feldspar, apatite, muscovite, phlogopite, zircon, corundum and scandium. Potential uses for such minerals are in pigments, specialty metals and fertilisers.

HTL is also a member of the Wide Bay Burnett Resources Group – a body established to help coordinate and foster mining projects across the region.

Mineral resources are identified as one of Queensland’s major export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Construction starts on Toowoomba export hub

Earthworks are underway for the new Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC) at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, destined to become an export hub for Toowoomba and the surrounding region.

Earthworks are underway for the new Regional Trade Distribution Centre (RTDC) at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, destined to become an export hub for Toowoomba and the surrounding region.

Wagner Corporation is constructing the 3,500sqm centre, with up to $10 million in funding support from the Queensland Government.

The Toowoomba RTDC is one of 2 new multimillion-dollar export hubs for Queensland announced by the state government in October 2019, with the other hub to be constructed at Cairns Airport.

The Toowoomba hub will comprise state-of-the-art cold and freezer rooms and temperature-controlled and ambient large transit areas.

The new facility will be used to export premium goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.

Minister for State Development Kate Jones said the hub would generate millions of dollars worth of business for local primary producers and exporters in the region as they recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘This will give our world-leading primary producers and exporters an edge, allowing them to return to international marketplaces that are keen to get as much of Queensland’s high-quality products as they can,’ Ms Jones said.

Principal Trade and Investment Officer for TIQ Ipswich Julie Mark said the facility was a vote of confidence for regional Queensland’s export capabilities.

‘Since exports commenced in 2016, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport has demonstrated its ability to provide efficient freight services with quick turnarounds for exporters,’ Ms Mark said.

‘Flights like the new weekly Singapore Airlines freight service mean Queensland produce can be growing in a field one day and landing into a foreign market in as little as 24 hours.

‘The RTDC will enable Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport to expand its export capacity even further and TIQ looks forward to helping South East Queensland exporters access those new export opportunities.’

The RTDC is scheduled to be built within 10 months, subject to necessary approvals.

The two locations for the new centres were selected after a competitive process that saw communities across Queensland making business cases for why their region should be chosen.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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QSAP international student panel to share COVID insights

Study Queensland (SQ) has inducted the 2020 Queensland Student Advisory Panel (QSAP) to help inform the international education industry’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study Queensland (SQ) has inducted the 2020 Queensland Student Advisory Panel (QSAP) to help inform the international education industry’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fourteen students from eleven countries will represent the almost 100,000 international students enrolled across Queensland’s education and training sector.

The panel will advise SQ on the needs of students and provide advice on policy and programs relating to international education and training.

SQ Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said seeking student feedback through representative bodies like QSAP was now more important than ever.

‘QSAP has helped us better understand why international students invest in Queensland for their futures and what sort of experience they want while they’re here,’ Ms Willoughby said.

‘As Queensland prepares for social and economic life post-COVID-19, QSAP will help the Queensland Government better cater to the needs of international students through education, employability and cultural engagement in the new era.

‘Like all of us, Queensland’s international student cohort is living in unprecedented times; their experiences have been made more difficult by being unable to return home and adjusting to online learning.’

QSAP will partner with SQ in a number of ways, including designing the Queensland International Student Leaders Forum and other SQ-led events, and helping develop SQ’s Student Support Framework.

Panel members are selected from students identified as leaders by their peers and institutions.

Domestic student representatives who are passionate about greater integration of international students within the education landscape are also involved in QSAP.

New panel member Tash Drepaul is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts (English) at James Cook University.

The 21-year-old from Mauritius said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the majority of international students.

‘But there have been some great stories of students coming together to help each other out – whether that’s through mental health check-ins or cooking meals for our friends,’ Ms Drepaul said.

‘Everyone has now accepted the situation and they’re trying to move on.’

QSAP is an initiative of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

QSAP 2020 representatives met virtually for the first time recently.

The Queensland Government recently boosted its international student welfare package to $15 million with the announcement of a $10 million welfare package to help students left financially vulnerable by COVID-19 to continue their studies.

International education is identified as Queensland’s second-most valuable services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

QSAP 2020 members

Kriti Garg India The University of Queensland
Ameya Deshmukh India The University of Queensland
Simon Wattanatum Thailand Queensland University of Technology
Rohan Gidwaney India Southern Cross University
Tash Drepaul Mauritius James Cook University
Maria Fernanda Colombia ASL
Anna Bejoy New Zealand Griffith University
Alistair Lau Hong Kong James Cook University
Irene Tomarong Philippines University of Sunshine Coast
Jeet Mukherjee India Central Queensland University
Peng Yu Australia (China) University of Southern Queensland
Crystal Paris Australia Bond University
Adriana Meneses Ecuador TAFE Queensland
Erin Ma China Queensland University of Technology